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  Three Years
  and counting.

Third annual "year in review"...

November 28th, 2002.  Today Mirage Aircraft for Flight Simulator is three years old.  This website, and interest in the subject, has been kept alive for three years now due to a regular flow of new aircraft, repaints, panels, and scenery. My sincere thanks to all the designers and repainters out there who have made this possible by sharing their creations and their interest in Mirage aircraft with the rest of us.  And thanks also to those who have written to point out items I've overlooked.

The website got its own URL this past year.  For those who may not have realized this, it's now  In May I had the crazy idea to promote the website by making screenshots of Kirk Olsson's unreleased Mirage F1 available.  So I sent notices to the major portals (avsim, simflight, etc.).  Here is the announcement...

New Mirage F1 Touted
Posted: Thursday, May 9, 2002 - 14:32
Frank Safranek, developer of the quality Mirage Aircraft for Flight Simulator website, tells AVSIM there is an update on the way by Mirage F1 developer Kirk Olsson.  "Kirk plans to release his new Mirage F1 in two versions," Safranek notes.  "First as a single air superiority blue/ gray painted F1C with default sounds (for reduced download size).  The follow-on full package will include three Mirage F1's ... each with a different paint scheme and multiple weapons loadouts.  To take a look at some of the pre-release screenshots of Olsson's latest work, just click here.

Then I went out of town for a few days -- a big mistake in hindsight.  Little did I realize just how hungry folks are for news.  The number of visitors multiplied several times for a couple of days and with so many images to view, I got a bill for $59 to cover bandwidth overusage -- Ouch!  I decided to move the website to a friendlier host and in the process it got its own URL.

We ended last year with just over 100 aircraft on these pages.  This past year there are over
80 more.  I wish the Stock Market had done that well.  It's been quite a year and I hope my description below doesn't get too long winded.  I've thrown in some images to break it up.

Aircraft Type11/28/9911/28/0011/28/0111/28/02
  Mirage III4142254 (32 new)
  Mirage 5/503111321 (8 new)
  Mirage F16182531 (7 new)
  Mirage 20009111529 (14 new)
  Mirage 40001335 (2 new)
  "Other" Mirage5162641 (15 new)
  Rafale15710 (3 new)
Totals:2978111191 (74 new)

So where did all these new aircraft come from?  Well, a lot of folks have been very busy.

As you can see in the table above, the bulk of new releases have been in the Mirage III category.  At the beginning of this past year Jason Ashworh released his Mirage IIICZ.  This is a really beautiful aircraft capturing the lines of the Mirage very well.  This was followed but his Mirage IIIEZ in SAAF camouflage colors.  Jason produced several variations of his Mirage IIIE at the request of repainters.  Not all them have been made public yet.  This assortment of available versions have resulted in repaints by Osvaldo Martinetti, Denis and Daniel da Silva Oliveira, Alexandre Cadel, Y-Raymond, Ricardo Ruffa, Daniel Leary, Alexandru Bucur, and Barry Magann.

Denis and Daniel da Silva Oliveira began producing new Mirage and Mirage variations at a very fast rate beginning with their two seat Mirage IIIDBR in May.  This was followed by several variations (weapons loads) of the Mirage IIIEBR and a new Mirage IIIS and IIIRS.  Repaints of these included the work of Denis and Daniel themselves, Jens-Ole Kjølberg and Ricardo Ruffa.

Mirage IIIC by Jason Ashworth. Repaint by Alexandre Cadel and weathered by Y-Raymond. Click to go to download page. Mirage 50 Pantera by Denis and Daniel da Silva Oliveira. Click to go to download page.

In the "Other" Mirage category Denis and Daniel da Silva Oliveira were the main contributors by releasing three new aircraft.  These included an IAI Dagger, an IAI Kfir C2, and a Denel Cheetah C.  Repaints of these have been released by Jens-Ole Kjølberg, T. Sima, Ricardo Ruffa, and Bernhard Behle.

The Mirage 5 and 50 received the attention of Denis and Daniel da Silva Oliveira as well.  They released examples of both versions of the Mirage 5 flown by the Force Aerieanne Belge, the 5BA attack version and the 5BR reconnaissance version.  Many of the real aircraft were sold to the Fuerza Aérea de Chile and upgraded.  These upgraded versions and the Mirage 50 versions flown by the Fuerza Aérea Venezolana and the Fuerza Aérea de Chile have been modeled as well.  With repainting by Ricardo Ruffa, there is now very good coverage of the Mirage aircraft flown by South American countries.

Rafale B for CFS2 by Scott Kiefer. Based on original by Oxyd. Click to go to download page. Mirage IIIEBR by Denis and Daniel da Silva Oliveira. Weapons and CFS2 mods by Chuck Dyer. Click to go to download page.

We've also gotten some new releases for CFS2 this past year; starting with the very nice Mirage IIIB by Colin Norwood of Alpha Simulations and then some Rafale modifications at the beginning of the year by Scott Kiefer (very cool two-seat Rafale B).  Recently we're seen some armament packages by Chuck Dyer for the Denis and Daniel da Silva Oliveira Mirage IIIEBR and by Ernest Lavendure for their modified Oxyd Mirage 2000.  With a little work, these Mirage III packages can be applied to the Mirage IIICZ and IIIEZ releases of Jason Ashworth.  Also, Phil Perrot of Alpha Simulations has made available three CFS2 ready Mirage aircraft as freeware this past year; their original Mirage IIIB-RV, and their Mirage IVA and Mirage IVP.  Most recently Jason Ashworth released a Mirage IIIEZ with JL100 rocket pod/fuel tanks that I have converted for use in both FS2002 and CFS2.

There were no new Mirage 2000 this past year but Denis and Daniel da Silva Oliveira modified the Mirage 2000 of Oxyd to represent a two-seat trainer Mirage 2000B with various armament loads.  Similar modifications were made for the original single seat version also.  This in turn led to repaints by Jens-Ole Kjølberg, Y-Raymond, and Philippe Magnier.

Mirage F1CR by Kirk Olsson. Click to read review and download. Mirage 4000 by Romain Lucas and Eric Marciano. Click to read review and download.

Two truely awesome Mirage packages were released for FS2002 this past summer.  The first was the already mentioned Mirage F1 by Kirk Olsson.  This was a complete rebuild of his FS2000 version and came in two versions.  The first release was of an F1C-200 and included three weapons loadouts.  The second release added the F1CR and included markings for three different aircraft, several weapons loadouts, and a set of custom sounds.  This was followed by a two-seater F1B trainer version that included several weapons loads including a couple clean versions in hopes that the CFS2 crowd will produce some modern French weapons sets.

Between the two Mirage F1 releases, another truely outstanding aircraft was released by Romain Lucas.  The aircraft was the Mirage 4000 and was a first in a couple of ways.  It was the first Mirage aircraft made for Flight Simulator using GMax.  It also boasted the first interceptor radar for Flight Simulator (or Combat Flight Simulator) thanks to the outstanding gauge programming of Eric Marciano.  I'm proud to say that I was able to play a role in this aircraft by bringing Romain and Eric together for this venture.  A truely outstanding aircraft was the result.

Mirage F1 panel by Francis Ponvert.  Background based on original by Mike McCormack.  Radar by Eric Marciano. Click to go to download page. Mirage 4000 panel by Eric Marciano and Romain Lucas. Background based on photos by Antoine Grondeau. Click to go to download page.

There have been several new instrument panels released this year beginning with a Mirage IIIB panel by Thinus Pretorius based on photographs of the Mirage IIIBZ.  Another was the earlier mentioned Mirage 4000 panel by Romain Lucas and Eric Marciano.  It is outstanding.  None of Kirk Olsson's new Mirage F1 include a 2D panel.  This was a problem for some folks at first but designers saw an opportunity and filled the void.  These include new panels by Eric Marciano, Pat Grange, and Francis Ponvert.

There was not a lot of scenery activity this past year except that Fabien Prevost updated his French Air Base sceneries for FS2002.  Alexandre Cadel and Christian Santoni individually released several sceneries for the island of Corsica.  Olivier Bochu updated and released new versions of several of his Freench Riviera sceneries and Joel Maillot modified his "Charles de Gaulle" aircraft carrier for use in FS2002.

A couple of final notes.  I discovered that this website is linked to from the Dassault Aviation corporate website.  That's very cool.  Earlier this year I posted the final article from Michel Gérard.  If you haven't read them but you are interested in Mirage aircraft and/or Flight Simulator, I know you'll find them interesting.  The final few are in English only but the early ones are also in Michel's native language of French.

That turned into a long list after all.  I hope I didn't overlook anyone.  If I did, you have my apologies.  Please

So what's on the horizon?

I've mentioned several upcoming aircraft on the What's New page.  I'll continue to keep you in the loop.  Jason Ashworth is working on his own Cheetah C.  I've flown it and it's a really good one.  Cyril Pioffet of France is working on several new GMax built aircraft including the Rafale, Mirage 2000 and Super Etendard.  A new Mirage IV strategic bomber is in the works as well.  Chuck Dyson is working on a modern French weapons package for Kirk Olsson's new Mirage F1 and perhaps Jason Ashworth's Cheetah and Mirage III.  I've started playing with scenery design and hope to have at least a beta version of Solenzara Air Base released before the end of the year.  I've been sent a lot of photographs from private collections.  I'll be posting them in the next few months as virtual walkarounds.  There are plenty of Mirage aircraft versions out there now.  Many opportunities to repaint a version for every operator.  That alone should keep us in new aircraft for a couple more years.  So stand by.  If you haven't already done do so, make a bookmark and be sure and stop by again.

Header photograph Copyright Ejercito d'Aire Español.
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